Wal-Mart is eliminating health benefits for about 30,000 employees to control its rising health care costs.
The cut applies to part-timers who work fewer than 30 hours a week -- about 2% of the company's U.S. workforce.
More of Wal-Mart's employees signed up for health benefits this year than the company expected, which boosted the company's costs.
One reason for the increase in sign-ups could be Obamacare, which requires most everyone to have health coverage, though Wal-Mart did not make that connection.
Employees who lost the Wal-Mart coverage option would now be eligible for government subsidies on Obamacare exchanges. That could work out to a better deal, especially for lower-paid employees.
Those who remain eligible for company coverage will see premiums rise. The cheapest and most popular Wal-Mart plan is increasing $3.50 to $21.90 per paycheck.
"This year, the expenses were significant and led us to make some tough decisions as we begin our annual enrollment," wrote Wal-Mart executive Sally Welborn in a blog post.
In August, the company said the increased enrollment led to a $500 million jump in health care costs compared to last year.
Wal-Mart ( is not the first company to trim health benefits in the wake of Obamacare's roll out. Rival )Target ( announced in January that it was )eliminating benefits for all part-time workers. It encouraged those employees to enroll in Obamacare and gave a $500 cash payment to each of them.
Home Depot ( and Trader Joe's announced last year that they would stop offering coverage to part-timers. )
A Wal-Mart spokeswoman said the company will not limit the hours employees work as a result of the benefits change.